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SSO: Rage of Montalbano Kickstarter Post-Partum

We’ve recently (as in at the time of writing this within 48 hours) successfully funded our third Kickstarter, this time for SSO: Rage of Montalbano. As such, I’m doing my second post Kickstarter analysis blog. As I’ve said before, I see more Post-Mortem blogs for failed Kickstarters than Post-Partum ones for successful one, which I think is a pity. Firstly, I’m going to refer to the Kickstarter SSO: Rage of Montalbano here simply as RoM, for obvious reasons. Secondly, it is currently open for late pledges on a Pledge Manager, which is a first for us. I’ll write about that experience once I’ve been through it, but for now its ongoing.

Right off the bat there are some interesting numbers there. Comparing to our last two projects we have:

Protect Name Money Raised Percentage Number of Backers

RoM £13,169 175% 372

Moonflight £14,474 180% 401

SSO £8,919 148% 508

This is mainly interesting to me given the prices of the various levels involved in these campaigns. SSO had one main pledge level for £10, Moonflight had one main level for £23. RoM, however, was an expansion to SSO and so had two main levels, the expansion itself for £12, or the expansion along with the base set or other extras with a range of prices from £24 to £64. We had 201 backers on the levels that included the base set and 131 backers on levels without. Its fair to assume that the 131 without were returning fans picking up the expansion, which is around what I was expecting based on the response that we’d had earlier due to releasing a smaller expansion.

Clearly as you increase price, even as you increase content, you decrease backer numbers. However, the exchange seems clearly worth the move if you can increase the value of content accordingly. In fact, if you remove the funds from returning backers for RoM it raised £10,601 off 201 backers. Its not that simple since those returning backers gave us a solid first day, but higher pledge level prices are not necessarily something to be afraid of. This can be seen even more clearly in the pledge levels break down:

The third column there is for just the RoM expansion, the following columns are for the base set and; fourth, the expansion; fifth, all the expansions; sixth, all expansions and Moonflight; seventh, all expansions and a playmat. What that means practically is that almost four times as many people went for the all-in level (97 backers at £39) as the entry level one (25 backers at £24). Also, nearly as many (70 backer at £64) upgraded to the playmat version. So, provided there is content there to justify it, the drop off in backers at higher price is far lower than a linear trend would suggest. Interestingly this can be compared to our two previous projects:

On the left there are the pledge levels for Moonflight, the largest column there is for the Base game, but the second largest on the right is for Moonflight plus the SSO base set and its two expansions, meaning that as third as many backers (64 to 185 on the base level) were willing to upgrade by the £20 required to add on SSO and two expansions while only six backers were willing to upgrade by the £24 needed to add Moonflight to an SSO pledge. Which suggests that there is some sort of price level where the extra game is just a dilution of the original campaign.

The right hand graph shows the original SSO campaign, the largest column there is for the game plus its first expansion, showing a pretty clear preference for the upgraded version (304 backers at £15) over the standard (63 backers at £10).

On the funding progress graph we can see most of the standard things, the first two and last three days are the most important overall for the campaign. In relation to that point though, that’s a 29% funded day one and total 38% funded after day two on a campaign that picked up five figures, completed all of its stretch goals and hit 175% funded. So please, if someone tells you to cancel your project if you didn’t fund by day two, ignore them, they do not know what they are talking about. In fact, we picked up a little more in our final 48 hours than the opening 48 on this project. As seems pretty standard there wasn’t a bump on hitting our goal, I don’t think I’ve ever personally seen a bump on funding and I’m starting to think its largely a myth.

The funding progress graph is also pretty interesting, comparing it to our previous project Moonflight:

At first glance they look quite similar, but in actuality RoM picked up far more of its funding during the mid-campaign period after day two and before the final 72 hours than Moonflight did. In fact it picked up 98 of its 175 percent outside of those two golden periods. It might not be obvious to the eye but the average day on RoM was picking up around 5% while the average on Moonflight was hitting around 2 or 3%.

To be honest, I’m not totally certain on where that strong mid campaign performance came from, and I suspect its from a general growth of our profile online, having a presence on gaming groups and being known in the community generally seems to create this sort of strong long term performance over the sort of huge lead in that you get from a mailing list and advertising. For the record our general routine is two blogs a week, one like this commenting and giving advice and another from our review blog which generally focusses on solo gaming, Kickstarters and SDJs. We also post proofreading/playtesting advice on BGG, post on Instagram and twitter regularly and admin as well as contribute on facebook boardgaming and Kickstarter groups. Recently we featured in the UKGE virtual convention and had a game reviewed in tabletop gaming magazine. Specifically, for this campaign we had an online sponsored post in tabletop gaming magazine and a series of videos featured in their online convention and a live streaming event with Bez in the last three days. We also cultivated a community of posting in our comments board by including a playable puzzle to unlock a stretch goal. I don't think any single on of those elements would work alone or is more important than the others, instead I think an ongoing and active engagement with the community is by far the most important thing.

Most of this is pretty expected, this is the fewest project followers we’ve yet had, but that’s to be expected given what we’ve been saying with the number of backers vs price levels, and the number of followers seems to be on a linear progression with the number of backers across our projects, in fact 14% is exactly the same conversion rate that we had on Moonflight, so that seems to be what that number is for us at the moment.

The percentage of video plays completed at 50% seems pretty standard also, my only worry here at the moment is the number of video plays, Moonflight had 1,458 which seems disproportionately more. To me the video plays number suggests the number of people who have been pulled into the page while passing casually, and this suggests that while we’re doing better and better at bringing our own crowd to a Kickstarter we’re getting worse at pulling in passing Kickstarter foot traffic. If I’m forced to choose I’d rather have a strong crowd of my own followers and fans, but I’d much rather have both. This is particularly odd because if you check out our three campaigns I’d say that its pretty clear that RoM is far better presented than SSO and to a degree Moonflight also, so it seems weird that its apparently less attractive to backers. This probably shows how fickle tag lines and main images can be, and how important it is to get them right.

So, in conclusion, if your game justifies a higher price, don’t be afraid of it. Work on building a community, don’t cancel because you didn’t back in 48 hours and if you can tell why more people felt compelled to stop in on SSO and Moonflight than SSO: Rage of Montalbano, I’d love to hear your opinion. I hope this general analysis helps, if you haven’t seen the back end of a Kickstarter analysis and have any questions, please ask, I’ll answer if I can.


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